Ways To Finally Ditch That Arm Fat For Good

Ah, arm fat, the bane of every woman's short-sleeved-shirt-wearing existence. It keeps you from waving as enthusiastically as you would like and too much of it can make your elbows look really wonky. Yet as much as you might hate your arm fat, you probably think it's just something you have to live with, right?

Well, you're wrong! You don't have to put up with unsightly arm fat. If you're willing to apply one or more of these tips, you might be able rid yourself of flabby arms forever.

Triceps dips

Triceps dips probably seem intimidating, especially if you've never done one. However, these exercises are amazingly effective at ridding you of the dreaded arm jiggle. Nina Cherie, PhD, blames the presence of "jiggly, wiggly" arms on "excess subcutaneous fat around the muscles in your arms." The key is to turn to exercises most effective at building muscle in the triceps area of the arms, a.k.a. the site most vulnerable to 'jiggle'. As Stephanie Barclay, C.S.C.S., director of fitness and wellness at North Park University told Women's Health, "The best triceps exercise is one that uses it as the prime mover during the exercise."

Fitness instructor Amy McCauley demonstrates how to do a triceps dip using a chair in this video. But if the idea of using a chair doesn't thrill you, don't worry. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, put together a video for Health demonstrating floor-based triceps dips.


There's a reason why running and push-ups are often go-to punishments in the military and middle school gym classes. They're tough activities that really work the body. If you can see beyond the apparent discomfort of the push-up, you'll come to appreciate it as an effective fitness tool for toning your not only your chest and core, but strengthening your shoulder and triceps muscles.

Fitness expert and journalist Jenna Wolfe wrote in an article for Today that many women would "rather walk across a bed of hot coals than do push-ups." Among her alternative suggestions to the traditional push-up is the wall push-up, sometimes referred to as a wall push-off. Sara Holliday, a health and wellness expert, demonstrates how to do a wall push-up in this video.

Power walking

Going for a power walk a few times per week is a great way to ease into a regular fitness routine. It's also easier to get into power walking than take up more strenuous forms of exercise. The best part is that power walking can really help firm up your arms when done correctly. Walking pro Tina Vindum told Fitness magazine that clenching your fists during a brisk walk "signals the arm muscles to contract and adds a little extra burn."

While you don't need weights to enjoy the benefits of power walking, walking with light weights can help burn additional calories while boosting your arm-toning efforts.

Weight and resistance training

If you really mean business where arm fat is concerned, then you'll want to get serious about weight training. Unfortunately, far too many women are petrified of heavy weights. Fitness trainer Nia Shanks laments in Bodybuilding.com that "most women never pick up enough weight to get a great training effect." Instead, they go for the "pink puny weights" and call it a day.

To get the maximum, arm fat-busting benefits of strength training, you'll want to work your way up to using heavier weights using proper exercises. Check out the helpful video above featuring arm exercises you can perform using weights.

If you're just not interested in using actual weights, but want to get the most from resistance training, you can use resistance bands instead.

Proper nutrition

That's right! In addition to building muscle and burning fat through exercise, ridding yourself of arm flab also means being accountable for what you eat. Nutrition.gov, a government initiative which arose from USDA's commitment to promote a healthy America, recommends "estimating your calorie needs" to maintain a healthy weight and creating "reduced calorie, nutritionally-balanced eating plan" for weight loss.

Research also shows that non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, soybeans, cauliflower, and lettuce are great for long-term weight loss goals. Certain fruits, particularly apples, berries, and pears, are also recommended for proper nutrition and weight loss. However, not all fruits and veggies are created equal. Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, are scientifically-linked to weight gain, manifesting as those flabby arms you're trying to get rid of!

For the best chance at success, combine the exercises recommended above with a proper nutrition plan and you should see major benefits.

Drink plenty of water

If you want to get rid of those flabby arms (and we know you do!) then you might want to up your water intake. Research shows that the average person doesn't drink nearly enough water. That's a shame, as CNN cites this study, which shows how proper hydration could be the best kept secret for anyone looking to shed unwanted pounds. As Shape reported, "A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water (about 17oz) increases [the] metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women." That high metabolism is going to be key to burning fat and toning your arms.

As for how much water you should drink, Dr. Jennifer Stone, a clinic supervisor with the University of Missouri, suggests a simple calculation: Your body weight x 0.5 = ounces of water per day. If you exercise daily, then you need to add an additional equation: previous total + (total minutes of exercise/30 minutes x 12 oz.) = ounces of water per day

Let's say you weigh 130 lbs and exercise for about an hour. The total amount of water you'd need for that day would be determined as follows:

130 x 0.5 = 65 oz.

65 oz. + (60 min./30 min. x 12. oz) = 89 oz.

As you can see, your required water intake changes drastically depending on how active you are. Use this calculation as a guide, and you should have no problem staying properly hydrated.

Get the right amount of sleep

You might not see a connection between your arm wiggle and a lack of sleep, but it's there. According to USA Today, research showed that people who didn't sleep as much were more likely to consume a greater amount of calories. More calories means more body fat, more body fat means more arm flab.

In fact, a study conducted by the University of Rochester shows that there can be negative side effects — in addition to unwanted weight gain — for adults who get less than seven to nine hours of sleep each night, such as an effect on memory retention.

A word of caution

Yes, arm fat is annoying and you can't always hide it. Even so, you want to make sure you firm up your arms using sensible, safe methods. Avoid "fad diets" or any weight-loss methods that seem unsafe. If you're not sure if a fitness or nutrition regimen is right for you, talk to a doctor before making any changes.